Shopping list of ideas for #PurpleLightUp

Shopping list of ideas for #PurpleLightUp

At PurpleSpace we know all too well that time and resources are limited, but that doesn't mean you can't still make an impact. Listed below are a number of "low on resource - high on impact" ideas to help celebrate the economic contribution of disabled employees in the weeks that precede or follow IDPD on 3rd December.

Social Media – go external

Social Media is one of the fastest ways to increase engagement on a topic. Your organisation may already use it to build an online community, celebrate a company milestone or launch a new product. So, in the run-up to 3rd December and beyond IDPD:

  • Re-fresh the way your network/resource group can build its social media presence – we have all the support you need – take a look at our toolkit #VirtuallyPurple
  • Create your own predefined goals to help focus the campaign and drive content – use the #hashtags #PurpleLightUp and #PurpleTalk - we will support your communications
  • Start the conversation with your marketing and communications team as early as possible; they may have existing campaigns that you can join and add to
  • Promote your campaign on your FB page or develop an Instagram purple stream
  • Use the stories of your own people via existing blogs and collateral – help your people to share their own story of disability by using our toolkit Purple Stories
  • Update your company's external Diversity & Inclusion page – offer a statement why your company celebrates its own purple / disabled employees and the positive impact your network/resource group makes.

Online & Media – stay internal

If your colleagues/company is constrained by what it can do externally, keep it internal, but don't miss the opportunity!

  • Make use of the staff intranet and information screens
  • Update your own network/resource group page
  • Dress internal media in purple – take pictures of staff wearing purple
  • Identify existing internal campaigns and themes – complement and enhance
  • Use visual information boards in receptions and communal areas. Focus on short key messages and contact information
  • Publicise social media campaigns including relevant twitter handle
  • Introduce Purple conversation starters such as lapel pins, lanyards or badges.


  • Organise a ‘Purple Day' if you are a retailer
  • Consider complementing online and social media campaigns with a small-scale network event with purple theme – invite allies, champions and other stakeholders and where possible have a celebration theme
  • Offer purple lanyards to the guests – ensure you offer positive facts and figures
  • Invite your disability champion / executive sponsor / CEO to address the event – get him or her to add a little purple in their attire
  • Consider ways in which you can collaborate with charitable organizations to run local events.


  • Dress building in purple – that might include flags, bunting and lighting. Naturally conversations to ‘dress' a building need to start as early as possible with the estate and building management teams – get them to raid the light bulb budget
  • Consider dressing internal spaces with posters, exhibition pop-ups, banners and themed display stands. These could be placed in locations where large numbers of employees are likely to gather, reception, canteen or coffee breakout areas
  • Given the time of year perhaps your Christmas Trees can be lit up purple.

Wider employee engagement

Ideas to encourage wider buy-in, develop conversations, build an understanding purple and promote your network/resource group:

  • Create lanyards for staff and visitors – you could brand with the network and twitter handle or just use the purple theme
  • Hold a purple/disability themed quiz at lunchtime (and throw in some questions to test knowledge on disability)
  • Create a fishbowl event with support from PurpleSpace, where leaders across the business can hear the voice of the lived experience
  • Hole a purple-themed bake-off
  • Develop a support book – online and physical
  • Hold a ‘wear purple day' during the week that follows 3/12
  • Get employees to use purple face paint to signify their support
  • Commission and handout pins (awards) and purple badges.

Allies Programme

Consider launching a purple allies programme – use the #PurpleLightUp to reach out to other staff networks across the diversity strands. This might include:

  • Joint meetings with other employee networks
  • Promote cross-cutting diversity themes
  • Articulate what an ally can do to help disabled colleagues and the business
  • Joint champions hosted networking event
  • Joint branding – encourage the use of other diversity symbols alongside Purple.

Customer and Supplier

  • Share #PurpleLightUp with your customers - explain the movement and show how important it is to include purple talent, why you are committed and how they can get involved
  • Be clear in your commitment to be a fully inclusive and accessible employer focused on recruitment and retention of disabled people
  • Host a customer session - workshop that looks at the importance of building disability confidence within the supply chain and use this to generate ideas around improving the service you deliver
  • Work with customers to understand their goals around disabled employees and work together to identify areas of potential collaboration
  • Bring together disabled employee networks to explore opportunities of working together and helping to elevate the conversation of economic contribution of disabled people
  • Host your own event, inviting along customers to join in with celebrating the economic contribution of disabled people.

And finally, whatever you do, don't forget to share your pictures on social media using #PurpleLightUp.